You Have to Be a Friend

There’s an old saying that goes “To have a friend, you have to be a friend.” The implication is that if you are friendly others will be friendly toward you. There is no guarantee that if you put yourself out there others will reciprocate. Even if you don’t have a friend, the Christ-like thing to do is be a friend anyway.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, ESV) Jesus had 12 chosen apostles and a multitude of followers, but during his trial and crucifixion nearly every single one of them ran away. Jesus was a friend of sinners, healed legions of the sick and afflicted, feed thousands, but when the time came… he was left alone. His mother was there, and perhaps one disciple. Peter denied Jesus three times, and even invoked a curse on himself. After Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, the rest had fled in fear.

Yet on the cross, Jesus extended mercy even toward the people that were nailing him to the tree. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We are told to give without expecting repayment, to walk the extra mile (literally) and  to turn the other cheek. Jesus’ final command was to love. We are to have the same mind is us that Christ had. Regardless of what anyone else does or doesn’t do…

You have to be a friend.